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FindLaw introduces blog product : Sounds weak

In a Webinar on marketing with blogs put on by FindLaw this morning, FindLaw announced they will be offering a blog product for lawyers. The announcement came from one of FindLaw’s product managers who was participating in the Webinar. Hard to say what the blog offering product will include at this time. Sounded like a pretty shallow offering being offered to small firms.

The same FindLaw product manager who made the announcement called me a couple months ago saying he was very impressed by LexBlog’s offering and that FindLaw may want to work with LexBlog. I asked what they were charging for law firm sites and how a good blog product would be compatible with such pricing. He never emailed or called back like he said he would. Can only guess that FindLaw did not wish to discuss further because LexBlog’s turnkey solution offered a lot and would require FindLaw to charge more than FindLaw thought they could charge their lawyer customers as part of a FindLaw Web site package.

My thoughts at this time:

  • I am not aware of any blogs run by FindLaw employees. Assuming that is the case, how can they have expertise on blogs, RSS and building ones name and reputation on the blogosphere?
  • FindLaw does a zillion different things, there will be no focus on blogs.
  • FindLaw does not have a great name out there in the area of customer service nor quality products. At least that’s what I hear when law firms contact LexBlog. Makes me question whether they are capable of doing a quality blog product.
  • Thomson/West Publishing manages FindLaw. Thomson West is a dinosaur in the publishing industry. Innovation and attracting visionaries has not been their strong suit. Blogs, RSS/XML and developing technologies are the heart of future legal marketing. Not sure FindLaw is up to the task.
  • Many lawyers blog because of their goal of contributing to the public good. I have never heard FindLaw say they want to do something for the greater public good.
  • FindLaw appears driven not by developing a quality blog product but by selling something at a price point they think a significant percentage of their law firm customers will buy. Kind of says it all.

By the way, Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy were the lead presenters at the FindLaw webinar. Tom and Dennis were great. By comparison, the FindLaw product manager did not demonstrate much knowledge in the area of blogs. If you are buying from FindLaw, I hope support calls and emails to Dennis and Tom come with the package.

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